Wood Design Awards salute architects, engineers and project teams

VANCOUVER, March 29 /CNW/ - More than 300 design and building professionals, including architects, engineers, project teams and industry sponsors along with BC Premier Gordon Campbell and speaker Patrick Moore gathered this evening to honour the nominees and winners of the 2010 Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Awards. The 6th annual awards evening in Vancouver recognized leadership and innovation in wood use while being an opportunity to publicly salute and encourage continued excellence in the building and design community.

Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products. Wood WORKS! BC provides education, training and technical expertise to building and design professionals involved with non-residential construction projects throughout BC.

There were more than 100 nominations in 12 categories for the 2010 awards from all over BC and one from the Yukon. "The awareness and appreciation for wood is growing at an unprecedented rate," explains Wood WORKS! BC executive director Mary Tracey. "As world attention focuses on our environment, wood continues to gain momentum as its environmental attributes are recognized."

"We're seeing wood used in unique and innovative ways both architecturally and structurally which showcase its beauty, strength, versatility and cost effectiveness. The increasing variety, diversity and sheer number of projects using wood is without a doubt building the already burgeoning wood culture in BC," she adds. The nominated projects ranged from a wood-signature school to a world-class private resort where wood connects the architecture to the powerful landscape. There were new buildings and renovations, using new timber, engineered wood products, reclaimed wood and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

The panel of five judges include Kent Fargey, President of Western Archrib; Michael Green, Principal, mcfarlane l green l biggar Architecture + Design; Dr. Robert Kozak, Professor, Faculty of Forestry at UBC; Oliver Neumann, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at UBC; and Thomas Williamson, Managing Partner, T. Williamson Timber Engineering LLC.

BC Premier Gordon Campbell presented the Premier's Wood Champion Award to Castlegar-based Kalesnikoff Lumber Company. "This family business has survived the ups and downs of economic swings for more than 65 years, and throughout it all has managed to provide a high quality wood product," says Mary Tracey. "This Wood Champion business exemplifies the spirit of the forest and wood products industry as it has always had a strong commitment to being good stewards of the land."

A new category this year is the Wood Innovation Award, which recognizes creative and innovative approaches in the use of wood in building design, product design and/or processes. Eighteen nominations were received in this category, and the winner is structural engineer Robert Malczyk at Equilibrium Consulting Inc. for Austria House, built for the 2010 Olympic Games in Whistler. It features the first Canadian application of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels.

The Green Building Award went to Jess & Nicolas Meyer of Nico Spacecraft for "the new but historic workshop" in Roberts Creek. The jury noted that "it was equipped with all the ingenuity of someone who rolled up their sleeves and asked what was needed to be done to get it done". The cedar siding for the south wall was milled from on-site trees that had to be removed for safety due to rot. Other harvested wood products were used because of their sustainability attributes.

The BC Ferries Departure Bay Passenger Facility in Nanaimo is the winner in the Commercial Wood Design Award category. Designed by Clive Grout Architect Inc., the desire was to introduce a signature material to the landside facilities, symbolic of the land and mountains of coastal BC. The architect found wood to be an excellent choice in this public works project.

Darryl Condon of Hughes Condon Marler Architects won the Architect Award with the stunning design of the Whistler Public Library in Whistler. The jury noted that Mr. Condon "consistently uses wood in an elegant matter". The Whistler Public Library is no exception. The library picks up on the drama of the surrounding mountains while promoting the community's sustainable development ambitions.

Paul Fast of Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, known internationally for leading-edge work on many projects, including the Richmond Oval, is the recipient of the Engineer Award. The jury's decision was based on a landmark bridge - the Kingsway Pedestrian Bridge in Burnaby. Although technology used in this project has been available for some time in Europe, the bridge features the first Canadian application on a permanent foundation. This project stands as a Canadian pioneer for the use of innovative and emerging utilization of Cross Laminated Timbers (CLT) as structural elements in North America.

    Winners in the wood design categories include:

    -   Residential Wood Design: Shuswap Cabin, Celista - Nigel Parish,
        splice design
    -   Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: The Outback, Vernon - Kevin Ryan,
        Coast Architectural Group
    -   Western Red Cedar: First Peoples House, University of Victoria,
        Victoria - Alfred Waugh, Alfred Waugh Architect
    -   Interior Beauty Design: Kwantlen Polytechnical University Gathering
        Place, Surrey - Brian Wakelin, Public Architecture and Communications
    -   Institutional Wood Design (less than) $10M: Crawford Bay Elementary-
        Secondary School, Crawford Bay - Witmar Abele, KMBR Architects
        Planners Inc.
    -   Institutional Wood Design(greater than) $10M: Gateway Lodge-Long Term
        Care Facility, Prince George - Jerry Doll, Neale Staniszkis Doll
        Adams Architects

In his speech, Premier Gordon Campbell paid tribute to the building and design professionals attending the awards event, stating that when specifying wood in projects, their decisions have far-reaching benefits for everyone in BC. "When we build with wood in our communities and across our province, it's not just a smart building choice - it's also a statement on our history and the values of sustainability and green building we share," states BC Premier Gordon Campbell. "Wood is simply the world's best building product. It's visually appealing, versatile, sturdy, takes less energy to build with and is the only construction material that actually sequesters carbon. The leadership shown by individuals and organizations who champion wood construction is critical as we spread the word throughout Canada and beyond about the benefits of building with wood."

"Wood WORKS! BC is proud to support professionals in our design and building community as they specify natural, beautiful, sustainable and renewable wood for design and construction," concludes Ms. Tracey. "We salute them for showing the province, the country and the world what can be done with BC wood through their distinguished accomplishments."

SOURCE Canadian Wood Council for Wood WORKS! BC

For further information: For further information: about the winning entries and professional photos of the projects, please contact: Mary Tracey, Executive Director, Wood WORKS! BC, mtracey@wood-works.ca or 1-877-929-9663 ext 1, cell: (250) 864-1344

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